Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) Review
PBC is a cooking system that is taking the grilling and smoking industry by storm! Because of its shape and cooking method, it never fails to deliver delicious feasts everyone will love. Its design allows for a more consistent heat by hanging the food over the flame instead of on a grill, creating uniform cooking without burning.
Ease of Use
Pit Barrel® guarantees perfectly cooked food every time, whether you are new to outdoor cooking or an expert trying to perfect your craft.
One of the best features of the Pit Barrel Cooker is its easy-to-use design.
Unlike conventional grills that cook food from a single, direct heat source, the Pit Barrel® and Hook'n HangTM method's cylindrical shape positions the food at the center of the action, heating the meat at once from all sides. The 360 All-Round Heat DynamicsTM is the secret behind always delivering good-tasting, perfectly cooked food.
Cook Like a pro, eat like a pro
It’s simple to operate and produces consistent and impressive results!
Vertical cooking allows for more room in the smoker and helps baste the meat with its own juices. Drippings produce a "smoke fog" from the coals below that negates a water pan's need. Hanging the meat also prevents any risk of grilling-induced hot conduction points.
Cook more, spend less
The posted capacity of a PBC is 240 sq inches for the included grill grate, but the capacity for hanging meats is dramatically higher.
The Pit Barrel® has an unmatched capacity, which allows for more than double that of regular horizontal cookers at a fraction of the cost! It's rated the best smoker for under $500 by many reviewers and industry professionals.
All the Accessories you Need
Pit Barrel® also offers a wide range of accessories to match any cooking style.
hook-n-hang, cooking method
You'll put one or two of the stainless steel hooks through the meat and hang it from a length of rebar mounted just below the tight fitting lid.
Deep smokehouse flavors are also developed by dripping juices falling on the hot coals. When the smoke fog that fills the barrel envelops the meat, it's infusing it with an even more natural flavor. This is where the magic of the PBC happens.
portability lets your PBC and go
It is simple to use, portable and built to last!
If you can’t take it with you… it’s not a Pit Barrel®. They know smoked meat and BBQ connoisseurs have mobile interests. That's exactly why they've built the Pit Barrel® to be light and compact enough to fit in the back of most vans, trucks and SUVs for easy transport to the campsite, family reunion, or football game.
not only a smoker, versatile cooker too
You can cook almost anything on a PBC!
Not all meats are created equal– and not all foods are meats! Every Pit Barrel® comes with a steel grill grate, not just so it can double as a traditional grill, but to take advantage of the Pit Barrel® added depth and temperature control. Want to sear a steak? Cook without the lid to turn up the heat. Add the custom GrillGrate for perfect sear-marks. Or leave it on and let the smoke add another layer of depth to burgers, fish, pizza, or even cookies!
What it comes with
Pit Barrel Cooker
30 Gallon Steel Drum with Lid
8 Stainless steel hooks
Pit Barrel Cooker Jr.
16 Gallon Steel Drum with Lid
4 Stainless steel hooks
Additionally, both PBC's come with 2 steel hanging rods, a charcoal basket, a regular grill grate, a wooden hook remover, a three-point barrel stand, and even some extras (spice rubs) to get started out of the box.
Safety + Durability
The Pit Barrel Cooker is super durable, made with a powder coated porcelain enamel exterior much like other grills we’ve reviewed that are made to stand up to the elements.
The easy-to-use interface is one of the best features of the Pit Barrel Cooker. For any type of meat, the PBC recipe calls for the same exact setup of charcoal each time. However, it is necessary to carefully and accurately follow the simple instructions, as consistent use will each time result in perfect cooking.
The Pit Barrel Cooker heats up quickly to 500 degrees Fahrenheit easily. The temperature should drop by about 300 after about half an hour and then slowly settle to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit where it will remain for several hours. To increase the temperature, you can adjust the dampner at the PBC's bottom and crack the lid. Also, keep in mind you'll need to take elevation into account to get the proper airflow
Depending on the type of meat you're cooking, the instructions are basic but very precise. As long as instructions are followed, the results will be so excellent that you will be left wondering who perfectly cooked your feast inside in the drum.
The PBC is actually a ton of fun to cook on! Following the directions and watching a few of the instructional videos are key to enjoying those first few smokes without any issues.
My first cook was two full chickens cut in half and hung. I seasoned one with the included PBC General Purpose Rub and one with just some salt and pepper. I cooked them to temperature for about three hours and won't lie. They were the juiciest chickens I've ever cooked with nearly zero effort involved!! The smokey flavor was amazing for such a simple cook!
One of the key factors about the PBC that really appeals to me is its portability. I like to take my smoker to the campground, picnic, or tailgate party, and the PBC travels pretty nicely. It's also a great conversation piece once you get it fired up!
The Pit Barrel Cooker is a perfect choice for any first-time smoker or addition for a seasoned pitmaster. The price, ease of use, consistency of cook, and portability make this a versatile cooking solution. The fact that the PBC is delivered ready-to-go to your door is a true boon for the newcomer. In no time at all, the Pit Barrel Cooker will have you feeling like a BBQ master at home or on the go.
PBC Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness & Advocacy
The Pit Barrel Cooking Co. is a veteran-owned and family-run business based in LOUISVILLE, KY that was started in 2010. Founder Noah Glanville served as a Navy Corpsman attached to a Marine Corps unit in Iraq and always had fond memories of family BBQ's back home.
He soon found that both his combat experience and lessons learned from dealing with PTSD could help him become a successful entrepreneur and The Pit Barrel Cooking Co.
"PTSD is something a lot of guys don't want to talk about," he said. "I got frustrated and angry easily. I was in a hole. My family and my business helped me focus my energy into something positive, and that made all the difference." - Noah Glanville
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